Alaskan Malamute Temperament: Resilient independence paired with a people-loving heart
For many years, the Alaskan Malamute has been ranked the 54th most popular dog breed in the United States. They were vital for the survival of tribes in Alaska and a classic worker. So, there's a good chance this breed has awoken your interest, and your fingers itch to cuddle that fluffy coat.
But, before you do, let's ensure the Alaskan Malamute fits your lifestyle and needs--from size considerations and temperament to potential health issues. Then, this blog will give you some ideas and inspiration if this dog breed is the right choice. Let's dive right in!
History of the Alaskan Malamute
The Malamuit Inupiaq people in western Alaska have bred this state dog of Alaska as a freight dog. Although a bit hazy, the estimated breeding dates as far back as 4,000-4,500 years ago. The Alaskan Malamute was known for pulling heavy freight over icy terrain. Excellent work for their strength, resilience, and tremendous endurance. They were vital for the survival of the tribe.
The Alaskan Malamute is a basal dog breed, meaning it influenced the development of other modern-day species. As a result, they’re one of the oldest sledge dogs globally.
During the Gold Rush times, other parts of the Americas discovered this dog as a working dog. They transported necessary supplies over mountain passes. Unfortunately, many pure-bred Malamutes have been cross bred during the time for profit taking. The Second World War was also not kind to the Malamute. The Malamute we know today was only saved due to a few breeders coming together with around 30-40 dogs to save the breed.
The Malamute is sometimes confused with the Siberian Husky.
What are the differences between a Husky and the Alaskan Malamute?
Although these dogs can look similar in their appearance, they're two separate breeds. However, they share that they're both bred for cold conditions. Pulling a sledge is their second nature.
Alaskan Malamutes have been bred for their strength and endurance. As a result, Malamutes are the classic working dog.
Huskies are runners and a bit smaller. This is because they have been bred for speed. There are apparent weight and height differences between both breeds. Malamutes are heavier and taller at the withers than Huskies.
Malamutes also don't have the gene for different coloured eyes like the Husky.
Malamutes look very similar to a wolf. They have a deep chest with a well-muscled body and a bulky muzzle with erect ears.
Their bushy tail allows them to cover their nose during cold weather, which is very helpful in sub-zero conditions.
Alaskan Malamute registrations in the UK 2023
In 2021, 323 Alaskan Malamutes were registered with the UK Kennel Club. Covid gave the numbers a good boost. 2022 saw 265 registrations, a 17% decrease compared to the previous year. The Alaskan Malamute is not seen outside on your regular walk. If you see one outside, make sure to admire its beauty.